Japan MTG card shops: Nishio and Toyohashi
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these card shop profiles! I’ve been sitting on these pictures for quite some time but just haven’t felt like post them for a while. I apologize for the delay, but hope that you can find the time to visit them one of these days if you’re ever in the area.
Hobby Station Nishio
I’ve only had the chance to go to Nishio Hobby Station once a few months ago for a Grand Prix trial. It isn’t really close to where I live in central Nagoya city, but for one of the players in our play group it’s just a short bike ride away. I actually like the store a lot. It’s not only a card store, but a multimedia store.
The building itself is very large. While one side is devoted to trading card games, the other side is a video/CD/video game shop. Take your time if you visit and check out everything the store has to offer.
The store has a decent sized selection of card, which includes standard, foils, and modern ones. The prices were just as any other Hobby Station I’ve been to. Sometimes you’ll find a good deal, and other times they’re a little overpriced. Since it’s part of a chain, if you have a Hobby Station point card, you can charge any purchase of single cards you make at the store, and can also use those points towards anything on the card store side as well.
One of the best draws to the store is the large playing space I think. Hobby Station Nishio can hand 30+ people for an event, and holds Friday Night Magic every week as well as pre-releases and the occasional Grand Prix Trial.
Why You Should Go
Being in the countryside, if you’re living in the southern area of Aichi prefecture, your choices for stores are far and few between. If you have a car then that makes it a lot easier to get around. My fellow MTG group member has found some great deals there from time to time, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll find any if you visit. I’d recommend checking this out when you go to a Grand Prix Trial or something, but if you don’t live close by, you’re probably better off sticking to your local store for FNM or going to Nagoya for bigger, more competitive matches.
Directions to Hobby Station Nishio
While Hobby Station Nishio isn’t remarkably hard to get to, it is very far away from major cities such as Nagoya or Toyohashi. The best way to get to it is either from Nagoya or Toyohashi on the Meitetsu train line (The JR lines do not go to Nishio). From either station, take the Meitetsu train line to Shin Anjo station (for the train from Nagoya, you’ll be heading towards Toyohashi. For the train from Toyohashi, you’ll be heading towards Nagoya or Ogaki). This is a stop on the express train, so you don’t need to worry about taking a local train. Once at Shin Anjo station, you have to transfer to the Nishio line. I think I remember having to go to a different platform, but you can ask station staff which train goes to Nishio if you want to check.
Once on the Nishio line, you’ll probably take a train towards Kiriyoshida or Gamagori depending on the time. It’s about 11 stops from Shin Anjo, so I’d say it’s a good 30 minutes to Nishio from there. After you get off at Nishio station, go out the WEST exit. There was a large field and a Mister Doughnuts restaurant on this side the last time I was there. You’ll want to cut diagonally to your left across the field from the west exit and work your way to route 383, which is the closest major intersection (with Route 12). From there, you’ll start heading away from the station and walk straight down route 383. You’ll be walking straight for about 10-15 minutes at least, and will go over 2 small rivers as you do so. You’ll pass Nishio Castle on your left (if they finished remodeling it), and when you see a 7/11 convenience store you should be really close. Just on the other side of the 7/11 should be the Hobby Station.
Hobby Station Toyohashi
Toyohashi is one of the biggest transport hubs in Aichi prefecture. Trains coming from both Nagoya and Hamamatsu stop there, and there is also a bullet train station. There are a few card stores in the area, but I only had the chance to check out one while I was there, the Hobby Station.
Compared to other card shops in Aichi, especially those in Nagoya, the selection is pretty bad. There was a single box to look through near the playing area, but as far as single cards were concerned there wasn’t too many. It’s still worth checking out from time to time if you’re stopping in the city just in case you can find a deal. I’m guessing that there aren’t too many people that play MTG there, so you shouldn’t have too much competition buying cards there.
The play area is a decent size, with about 5 tables in total and space for 36+ people. This means it should be fine for pre-release events if you decide to attend one. They hold FNM every week, and Game Day as well when new sets come out. Probably not a great place to hone your skills, but if you need to scratch that MTG itch and live in the area, it’s better than nothing.
Directions to Hobby Station Toyohashi
The store isn’t too far from the station, so if you just want to stop in for a few minutes on your way to Nagoya or Hamamatsu, it’s definitely doable. From Toyohashi station, go out the east exit, or the exit closest to the Hotel and shopping area. Once outside, you should see a bus terminal. There should be a crosswalk that goes over the road, so take that to the other side of the street.
Once you cross over the street and head down the stairs, take a left towards Mizuho Bank. Once coming around the corner, you should see a shopping arcade (one of those open-air shopping areas with a roof). I’d cross the street here so you’re on the same side as the 7/11. From the 7/11, walk just past the shopping arcade and you’ll come to a book store. In that building on the 4th floor you’ll find Hobby Station Toyohashi. If you’d like to call them or check out a more detailed map, please check out their website or Wizard’s locator.
Coming up Next
Since I won’t have too many chances to play standard or modern in the next few days, I’ll be focusing on the M15 spoilers we’ve seen so far next time and how I think it will affect each format. We’ve already seen the Avatars which could make a splash in EDH, and reprints like Darksteel Citadel which helps lower the value of Affinity decks a bit, but what else does Wizards have in store for us? Will we see fetches? Will they print more common and uncommon eternal format cards to drop their prices a bit? And how will the Planeswalkers change things around? Look for a new article sometime later this week! Thanks for reading.